EMPOWER: Programme for Learning Tech Skills in Humanities/Social Sciences

Want to learn new digital technologies and skills to enhance your research? Not sure where to start? Follow our 8-step programme to learn!




ESCALATOR was established in 2020 to support the development of an inclusive and active community of practice in Digital Humanities and Computational Social Sciences in South Africa.

ESCALATOR offers a variety of opportunities for researchers and students affiliated with South African research organisations.

EMPOWER is specifically designed for women working in Humanities, Social Sciences and related fields who are affiliated with research organisations in South Africa.

We realise our community has diverse experiences, backgrounds and needs when it comes to using digital/computational skills in research. Over the past few months the ESCALATOR team has been considering carefully how to best support our community of women in humanities and social sciences in South Africa and it is with great excitement that we’re launching our 8-step programme in May 2022!

The programme is based on the premises of intentional learning. We know we can’t possibly teach everyone in our community all the skills they need to be successful in their research, but we can help foster good learning practices.

Essentially, we want to equip community members with skills that will support their learning now and in the future.

Please join us if you identify as a woman, work in the context of humanities or social sciences, and are affiliated with a South African research organisation.

Lessons learned from this round of the EMPOWER track will be shared and applied to develop other tracks open to a broader audience later in 2022.


The programme offers an 8-step plan for learning new digital/computational skills.

In May 2022 we will kick off by looking at the plethora of tools that are available to researchers across the research lifecycle. The introductory presentation will feature 101 Innovations Рa project that evaluated software and workflows used throughout the research lifecycle. Resources produced by the 101 Innovations team are available under open licences and can be re-used by community members in their learning and training.

Subsequently we will assist participants to evaluate their current workflows, looking at the tools and methodologies they are using, exploring alternatives, and inviting community members to share their experiences. We will share templates to guide participants through this exercise.

The next step would be for each participant to identify new digital tools or methodologies that they would like to learn.

We will support participants to prioritise the list of new skills and tools to choose a single focus area.

By applying aspects of intentional learning, we will support participants to develop a learning plan. A template with guiding questions and a schedule has been developed and will be shared with each participant. Each participant can decide which level of skill they want to learn, how much time they can commit, how they will apply the new skills in their work, and when they want to move on to the next item on their prioritised list.

Throughout the next few months, we will provide a scaffold where community members can continue to learn and grow. We will help to find learning resources and opportunities, find answers and additional support within our communities, and check in regularly to maintain connections and provide support and encouragement.

In December, we will invite participants to share their experiences, showcase what they’ve achieved with their new skills, and plan for 2023.

The event is finished.


Jun 09 2022


5:30 am - 7:00 am

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.